A new experiment with Medicare would have disastrous effects on seniors’ access to lifesaving medication for cancers, blood disorders, and other medical conditions. But Senator Dan Coats and Congressman Todd Young are fighting for Indiana seniors by standing up against Obama’s Medicare experiment. Tell them to pass HR 5122 to protect Indiana seniors’ access to care.
Get the facts below.
The Obama Administration Has Proposed An Experimental Medicare Part B Program That Could Disrupt How Seniors Get Treated for Cancer and Other Serious Illnesses. “The Obama administration is proposing a test program to see if lowering reimbursements for drugs administered by some Medicare doctors would prompt them to choose lower-cost, but equally effective, medications. The development could lead to an overhaul of reimbursements under Medicare Part B, a program that pays about $19 billion a year to providers—and is outlined in a proposed rule issued Tuesday by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which runs the program.” (Stephanie Armour, “U.S. Officials Propose Test Program Aimed At Lowering Medicare Drug Costs,” The Wall Street Journal, 3/8/16)
The Community Oncology Alliance Sent A Letter To The Obama Administration Arguing That The Pilot Program Is “An Inappropriate, Potentially Dangerous, And Perverse Experiment On The Cancer Care Of Seniors Who Are Covered By Medicare.” “The Community Oncology Alliance sent a letter to the Obama administration arguing the pilot program is ‘an inappropriate, potentially dangerous, and perverse experiment on the cancer care of seniors who are covered by Medicare.’ Doctors pick drugs for their patients based on what works best, rather than on what makes them the most money, the organization argues. A study looking at cancer death rates between 1995-2007 found that fewer Americans died and the number of deaths declined faster than in other countries, when cancer care spending rose the most, suggesting in general that more spending did seem to make a difference.” (Jen Christensen, “Medicare Change: ‘Perverse’ Incentive Or ‘Perverse’ Reform?,” CNN, 4/11/16)
Critics Of The Pilot Program Have Argued That Smaller Medical Offices And Outpatient Clinics Would Suffer Because They Would Not Be Able To Negotiate Drug Prices In The Same Way As Larger Facilities. “While the market largely regulates what we pay for drugs, the Obama administration has proposed a new experiment it hopes will drive down some of the costs. The experiment involves a five-year pilot program that would change the way doctors are reimbursed for prescribing certain drugs under Medicare Part B. … Critics of the pilot program argue that smaller medical offices and outpatient clinics will suffer, in part, because they won’t be able to negotiate better drug prices in the same way as larger facilities.” (Jen Christensen, “Medicare change: ‘Perverse’ incentive or ‘perverse’ reform?,” CNN, 4/11/16)
- “That Means Those Providers Would Not Be Able To Offer Patients The More Expensive Medicines.” (Jen Christensen, “Medicare change: ‘Perverse’ incentive or ‘perverse’ reform?,” CNN, 4/11/16)
The American Medical Association Said This Proposal Could Result In Higher Out-Of-Pocket Costs For Patients. “We anticipate that phase 1 of the model would accelerate the nearly decade long migration of the administration of Part B drugs from physician offices where patients receive their ongoing care, to hospital based outpatient sites of care which are more expensive and pose additional patient barriers (including geographic) as well as higher out-of-pocket costs for patients.” (American Medical Association, Letter To Administrator Slavitt, 5/9/16)
H.R. 5122, To Prohibit Further Action On The Proposed Rule Regarding Testing Of Medicare Part B Prescription Drug Models, Has Been Referred To The House Ways And Means Committee. “This bill prohibits the Department of Health and Human Services from taking any further action on a proposed rule to change how Medicare pays for certain drugs that are typically not self-administered (such as some intravenous medications and chemotherapy drugs).” (H.R. 5122, Introduced 4/29/16)